Each year we encounter some 20,000 “stories” in our community – short stories, long stories, ongoing stories and success stories.
Happy endings to these stories are made possible by the important services we provide. We invite you to take a look at some interesting stories we think will inspire you.
Please note that each story is based on actual Neighbourhood Link clients. In some instances, photos may be of models, and names and details have been changed to respect privacy.
You just have to look at Spencer’s smile to see how the Moving Forward program changed his life.
After successfully completing our Moving Forward Program, Spencer has been accepted into the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto. He also volunteers at a local branch of the Toronto Public Library where he enjoys giving back to his community.
Spencer has faced many challenges in his young life. He has cerebral palsy and deals with social anxiety issues. As a result, he had been quite isolated at home and hadn’t been able to work. Since completing our Moving Forward Program, Spencer has gained the confidence to pursue his goals of attending university and volunteering. We are so proud of all Spencer has accomplished – way to go!
To learn more about our Moving Forward Program, please click here
As his mother's sole caregiver, Fred was forced to frequently miss work, putting his job in jeopardy.
Fred’s mother had steadily progressing Alzheimer’s and needed constant attention. As sole caregiver, Fred was forced to frequently miss work, putting his job in jeopardy. He contacted Neighbourhood Link and they enrolled her in their Adult Day Program. Fred was able to concentrate on his job, knowing she was in the company of caring people in a safe and stimulating environment.
A counsellor persuaded Scott to help an eight-year old with his math homework. Turns out Scott was a genius with numbers and as well, a natural teacher.
When a troubled youth named Scott entered Neighbourhood Link’s Kick Start Program facilitators quickly realized that he really didn’t want to be there. To keep him occupied, a staff member persuaded him to help an eight-year old with his math homework. Turns out Scott was a genius with numbers and as well, a natural teacher. Today, he is a volunteer mentor.
Teaching is my passion, and teaching these computer classes would give me Canadian experience and really enhance my résumé.
Afareen started as a beginner in the Computer Basics Workshop in September and by December she had learned how to use Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel, Email and the Internet. Ready to move on, she instead offered to volunteer and assist staff with teaching the class. A teacher in her homeland, Iran, she stated: “Teaching is my passion, and teaching these computer classes would give me Canadian experience and really enhance my résumé." Her new-found skills have given her self confidence and independence and she has been a great help to Neighbourhood Link.
Elizabeth spends her afternoons playing the piano to an appreciative audience.
Elizabeth, 84 and a member of "The Club" at the Adult Day Program, is able spend her afternoons playing the piano to an appreciative audience.
Jennifer now has a resume that showcases her skills, experiences and accomplishments instead of just listing them.
Thanks to Neighbourhood Link's Employment Programs, Jennifer is working as a registered nurse in a Toronto hospital. Her 10 years of experience abroad didn’t seem to help her secure a job until Jennifer’s Employment Counsellor advised her to attend the Effective Résumé Writing and Interview Practice workshops. Here she learned how to create an effective résumé and how to be successful during the interview process.
Mavis and Charles
Neighbourhood Link settled Mavis and Charles into an apartment in the Beach, where they had always lived.
Mavis and Charles lost their home after 47 years. Neighbourhood Link settled them into an apartment in the Cecelia Murphy Building in the Beach, where they had always lived.
I found the staff at Neighborhood Link to be warm, welcoming and they helped me with the right services, at the right time.
Justin Keswick came to Neighbourhood Link Employment Services worried about his future and was filled with uncertainty after he was laid off from a financial institution where he worked as a specialized IT person for over 10 years.
Justin worked with Career Specialists, Mr. Long Wu, in the Neighbourhood Link employment service department and together they designed a return to work action plan. In order to achieve his work goal to pursue a career in accounting, Justin completed a series of accounting courses. With the assistance of Job Developer, Mr. Paul Larsen, Justin was able to start his career in the accounting field.
However, Justin discovered that accounting was not the type of work he wanted to do. Once again he was thinking about how to find a new job. Looking for more guidance, he returned to Neighbourhood Link Employment Services where Paul helped him to prepare for a series of job interviews. They worked together to refine Justin’s interviewing and communication skills.
With the help from the trained staff at Neighbourhood Link Support Services, Employment Service Department, Justin was successful in finding a new position as a Call Centre Analyst at the Bank of Montreal where he enjoys going to work every day.
Justin says:“Searching for full-time job in Toronto is hard, relentless, heart-wrenching and cold. I found the staff at Neighborhood Link to be warm, welcoming and they helped me with the right services, at the right time. Without the support of Neighbourhood Link in finding the right job for me, I might have given up.”
It was the toughest interview Marilyn had ever experienced, but remembering what she learned in the workshops helped her remain calm and confident.
The Employment workshops helped Marilyn land her new job. At her job interview, she was faced by a panel of four people confronting her with some very difficult case scenarios. It was the toughest interview she had ever experienced, but remembering what she learned during the workshops helped her remain calm and confident.
Violet would often stay late to practice on the computers because she did not have one at home.
Violet was a participant in the New Knowledge New Steps program. One of the barriers to employment was her lack of computer skills which she tried hard to rectify. She would often stay late to practice on the computers because she did not have one at home. At the end of the six week program, she enrolled in the St. Stephen’s Community House Administrative Support course. As part of the course, her practical placement was at the Royal Bank of Canada. After just three weeks at the bank, she called with the exciting news that she was now working there full time.
Neighbourhood Link recognized that Aisha could be a great asset connecting East Asian women with culturally sensitive family doctors.
A participant in the Newcomer Program, Aisha
held a medical degree from Pakistan that was not recognized in Canada. Neighbourhood Link, however, recognized that she could be a great asset connecting East Asian women with culturally sensitive family doctors. In doing so, Aisha found a new career.
The Neighbourhood Group
TWO GREAT AGENCIES COME TOGETHER - Neighbourhood Link Support Services and Central Neighbourhood House, a formidable social service agency with a proud history dating back to 1911. Each organization continues to operate under its own name, but our combined resources and shared goals allow our respective communities to reap greater benefits.
Upon successfully passing the exam and receiving his license, Gregory received assistance from our job development team to secure an interview with a security company.
Gregory, 45 and struggling with mental health challenges came to see us after being out of work for more than one year. His NLSS counsellor arranged for him to attend a hiring fair with a security company, where he decided he wanted to take the training course to become a security guard. Gregory was able to pay for the training using his own money but NLSS found client incentive dollars available through Employment Ontario to pay for his security exam and license. Upon successfully passing the exam and receiving his license, Gregory received assistance from our job development team to secure an interview with the security company. He was subsequently hired and is doing incredibly well in his new role.
I am the luckiest man alive. Everyone at NLSS cares so much.
Paul, a one-time Toronto tax accountant came to be a resident at one of our buildings after a long series of unfortunate events. In 1989, he was diagnosed with MS. His ability to function was further hampered in 2004 when he had the first in a series of 5 mini strokes. Along with that, he developed a bipolar disorder, which led to depression. His situation further deteriorated, eventually leaving him homeless in 2010. Paul’s plight came to the attention of our NLSS Housing workers who advocated strongly for his placement. Today, he enjoys the beautiful facilities, the garden, friendly staff and residents. “I am the luckiest man alive. Everyone at NLSS cares so much,” says Paul.
Neighbourhood Link was able to place Ben immediately in Jean Dudley House, as well as connect him with a reputable contractor who started on the restoration of his home.
Ben, a senior living on his own, fell down his basement stairs and suffered a broken neck, knee and elbow. His injuries required extensive surgery and seven months of rehab. Upon release, he returned home with his caseworker, and was confronted by a flooded and freezing cold house. While away, his utilities had been shut off and his home insurance terminated. NLSS was notified and they were able to place him immediately in Jean Dudley House as well as connect him with a reputable contractor who started on the restoration of his home.